Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Putting the polish on.

Any good parent knows, you can't force your child to like something and that goes for beets, the Wizard of Oz, bike riding and everything in between. Leif and I adore watching the Olympics and we pretty much adjust our evening schedule to accommodate taking in the coverage. To be perfectly honest, Emma and Finn didn't seem to have the Olympic spirit...let's say they appeared mildly interested at best...until last night...
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images via nbcolympics)

...snowboard cross did the trick!
Emma and Finn were totally riveted to the competition and it was a joy to watch it with them both.

Their sudden interest in the coverage made me realize just how tempered my enthusiasm for the games has been this year. The loss of Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, before the start of the games literally stunned me and admittedly sapped my free flowing love for the games. The incident left me asking all kinds of questions about who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety of these fearless and at times reckless athletes. Just because a person can build a track that hurls folks down an ice chute at faster and faster speeds, does that mean they should? There were twelve crashes during practice runs and none since the course was adjusted, but officials maintain the course was tweaked out of sensitivity to the emotions of the athletes. Huh? Basically, I am mourning a young stranger who literally died in pursuit of a dream and trying to make sense of the very public way he perished.
The whole thing tarnished the medals so to speak.

Last night while we were whooping and hollering for those speedy snowboarders all the controversy fell away for just a moment and Finn innocently commented, "You know I never want anyone to get hurt, but I love the crashes. They make it all more exciting. I mean, it really isn't the Olympics with out the crashes is it?"
And you know what?
He is right; risk is part of any sport and without the risk there would be no joy.
I love all that "thrill of victory and agony of defeat" stuff!

While I still firmly believe there are big lessons to be learned from the incident on the luge track, I am grateful Finn took a moment to put it all in perspective for me. It is okay to take a thrill in the risk...I am not watching to see if someone dies; I am watching to see people living their dream.
Time to polish the medals.
Now, if some one throws a bucket of red paint on figure skater Johnny Wier, tonight I am not sure what my reaction will be, but I am sure to watch it all unfold...


Mary said...

our entire family has been glued to the olympics...karrick included. Big excitement because we are leaving friday to go skiing and snow boarding in Colorado. The death was awful and sad. It is said that he told his dad he was afraid prior. Let me put it this way because of my family. The most likely person to get hurt or die at a emergency is a scared policeman or fireman..A scared policeman is a dead policeman. If you have any fear you are at risk...doesn't make it any less tragic, you can't think when you are terrified...not to be confused with nervous, but I wish he had pulled out...Too much pressure

Anonymous said...

Maybe by 2018 Finn will be known as the "Flying Cherry Tomato."

Mel said...

I heart you and your comment John!

Mb said...

The Olympics is something our family enjoys too. It makes great memories

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